Three Speed Day Tour Report

Saturday April 20th was a good day to be on a three speed. It was a mix of sun and clouds, a high in the low 60’s F. Myself and nine other riders (plus one dog!) departed from Ford Food and Drink in SE Portland after 10 AM. Our destination: Oregon City.

It was a sixteen mile ride to Oregon City. The first half of this was mostly on low trafficked streets in Portland, the second half was mostly bike path in Clackamas County. The Trolley Trail is a pleasant way to ride. We stopped around mile 9 at Rivervilla Park along the Willamette where we fulfilled two of the five Three Speed Adventure April Challenges: Coffee Outside and the Climb. Yes, it’s a short but steep pitch from the river back up to the Trail.

We had an extended break in Oregon City. First, we toured through downtown and took a ride up to bluff level via the (in)famous Oregon City Municipal Elevator. We cruised along the Promenade and climbed a small rocky outcropping to get a magnificent view of Willamette Falls, largest waterfall (by volume) in the Northwest. After this we had food and drink at the Highland Stillhouse, a Scottish Pub.

After our final viewing of the falls, we bombed down busy 99E back into downtown Oregon City. We rode back the same way until the Clackamas River crossing, then took the I-205 bike path. If I was going to do this ride differently, I probably would have taken the Trolley Trail back. But I like a good “loop” route, and trying to loop back via the west side of the Willamette is not ideal, with busy roads and some serious hills. The 205 path is serviceable, but lacks scenery, and like most “bike paths paralleling a freeway”, gets noisy. But it was pretty fast going.

We eventually got back into Portland proper. We had hit three Adventure April challenges so far (we completed the Distance challenge of 15 miles by the time we hit Oregon City), so time to complete a fourth one: Unpaved. We did so via SE Cooper Street between SE 62nd and SE 72nd Streets, a full half-mile of continuous gravel road, maybe the longest such continuous one in the city? (As far as I know, at least. And no, I’m not counting Leif Erickson Drive.)

After that, the few of us remaining (meaning myself, Emee, and Maria) ended the endeavor in the Montavilla neighborhood, where we enjoyed beer at the eponymous brewpub. My cyclometer read 33 miles by the time we stopped. A good long ride on a three speed!

***

Ok, since you are going to ask, here’s the bicycle breakdown (as far as I know):

  • Three Bromptons
  • One Linus
  • One Raleigh Grand Sport with S-A two speed hub
  • One Rudge Sports
  • One Raleigh Sports
  • One Raleigh Superbe (mine)
  • One Ross three speed
  • One mountain bike conversion
Advertisements

Reminder: Sturmey Archer Hub Overhaul Workshop is Wednesday!

Hello friends of Three Speeds! Just a reminder that our first workshop, the Sturmey Archer Hub Rebuild Workshop, is just two days away. And while we’ve sold half of the spots, we still have space available for you!

This class will be taught by expert mechanic Patrick Loftus, who has overhauled many an AW hub in his day. It will be held at the Community Cycling Center (1700 NE Alberta St) on Wednesday April 24 at 7 pm.

Learn how to overhaul a Sturmey Archer three speed hub! Veteran bike mechanic Patrick Loftus will open up an AW hub, dismantle it, and reassemble it in working order during this ninety minute workshop. Participants will learn about lubing and adjusting cables while learning some theory and history. Bring your own three speed as we may be able to help with adjustments. Please note that this is otherwise NOT a hands-on workshop.

Limited to nine people.

Price: $20 for Society of Three Speeds members, $25 for non members, plus service charge.

Society of Three Speeds memberships MUST be purchased previous to purchase of member-rate ticket. You can purchase membership here:

https://urbanadventureleague.storenvy.com/products/25218207-society-of-three-speeds-membership-kit-2019-edition

(Please note: You just need to PURCHASE membership, not receive in the mail. So yes, you can purchase membership and then immediately purchase member-rate ticket.)

Thank you to the Community Cycling Center for giving us the space for this event.

Register for this workshop here.

Three Speed Day Tour is this Saturday. You going?

46735832964_d2d2dfc114_oHello folks! The Three Speed Day Tour is happening on Saturday April 20th. This 25-to-30ish cruise will head down to Oregon City and back. Registration is required, you can register and find the full details here.

All the basics from the initial ride description remain. Here’s a few other pointers:

  • The long range forecast for Saturday April 20 is good: Slight chance of showers, high 60F. Now things can change between now and then, so…bring your rain cape!
  • I plan on having a “tea stop” around mile 10, weather permitting. This is a byo affair, so bring a stove and pot/kettle, hot water, or pre-brewed tea or coffee. I may have extra water to go around, so if you are one of those people who don’t have/carry a stove or thermos, please let me know. (You’ll need to bring a cup!)
  • Lunch will be in Oregon City, which is about 16 miles in. Adult beverages can also be consumed at this spot.
  • On top of that, there could be another possible coffee (as in coffee shop) stop. This is a leisurely ride!
  • This ride should hit up three of the five challenges of Three Speed Adventure April: Distance, Climb, and Coffee Outside. I’m seeing if I can incorporate some dirt to make that challenge too. Have not signed up for the challenge yet? Do that here: https://societyofthreespeeds.wordpress.com/3-spd-apr/

And yes folks, there’s still plenty of space available. Hope you can come!

Three Speed Adventure April: The climb challenge

Loaded bicycle leaned up against roadside stating "8% grade". Bucolic landscape in background, road going down a hill, trees in distance.
During my tour of Wisconsin in May 2015, I rode a loaded touring three speed up a few hills with 7 to 8% grades!

Hello all! So far, I’ve seen the successful completion of the “Climb” challenge by two people: Happy Little Three Speed Bicycle and 3 Speed Seattle. Happy Little Three Speed brought up some points about the challenge, so I just wanted to address them.

Let me just review what the Challenge is: A climb of 5% or more grade, with a cumulative elevation gain of at least 100 feet (30 m). 

I wrote up this particular challenge because there’s the idea that we three speeders don’t like climbing hills. While there’s truth to that, esp. since the lowest gear one can safely get with a three speed is in the high 30’s.* But three speeds can climb! You just can’t spin like on a touring bike. I figured that 5% is the starting point of what many people think is a “real hill” and 100 feet of elevation gain is enough to feel it.

I also realize that it’s not easy for people in flatter areas to find one hill with 100 feet of elevation gain, so I amended the challenge thusly: If you can’t find a hill with that much gain, you can stitch together two or more hills in a single ride with at least 5% or more grade, or just go up and down the same hill until you hit 100 cumulative feet.”

So the plan breaks down like this:

  • Plan A: Find a hill with at least 100 feet of elevation gain, with a grade of 5% or more.
  • Plan B: If that doesn’t work, stitch two or more hills of 5% or more grade on a ride, so long as the cumulative elevation gain is 100 feet or greater
  • Plan C: If A and B don’t work, find a hill of 5% or more grade, and go up (and down) it until you hit 100 feet of cumulative elevation gain.

So I’m giving you a few ways you can successfully complete this challenge. Please remember that this challenge must be done during a single ride, you cannot add up cumulative elevation gains from multiple rides.

But yes, you can combine this challenge with another challenge! If this challenge happens during a 15 mile (or more) ride, you’ve just knocked off two of them! Make tea at the top? Three. Was there a half-mile of unpaved in there? Four! Was this all on the way to the campground for the night? Grand slam!!!!!

Alright folks, you still have about 2/3’s of April to finish. Have questions about the Challenges? Please get in touch! 

And below is photos from 3 Speed Seattle’s Climbing Challenge.

*Yes, I know people have achieved lower. But I’d be scared of destroying the hub below the recommended 2:1 ratio. And I’m not a lightweight person, so it’s probably safer for lighter folks.

Spots still available for Sturmey Archer hub rebuild class, Wed 24 April

Hello friends of Three Speeds! Just a reminder that our first workshop, the Sturmey Archer Hub Rebuild Workshop, is just two weeks away. And while we’ve sold half of the spots, we still have space available for you!

This class will be taught by expert mechanic Patrick Loftus, who has overhauled many an AW hub in his day. It will be held at the Community Cycling Center (1700 NE Alberta St) on Wednesday April 24 at 7 pm.

Learn how to overhaul a Sturmey Archer three speed hub! Veteran bike mechanic Patrick Loftus will open up an AW hub, dismantle it, and reassemble it in working order during this ninety minute workshop. Participants will learn about lubing and adjusting cables while learning some theory and history. Bring your own three speed as we may be able to help with adjustments. Please note that this is otherwise NOT a hands-on workshop.

Limited to nine people.

Price: $20 for Society of Three Speeds members, $25 for non members, plus service charge.

Society of Three Speeds memberships MUST be purchased previous to purchase of member-rate ticket. You can purchase membership here:

https://urbanadventureleague.storenvy.com/products/25218207-society-of-three-speeds-membership-kit-2019-edition

(Please note: You just need to PURCHASE membership, not receive in the mail. So yes, you can purchase membership and then immediately purchase member-rate ticket.)

Thank you to the Community Cycling Center for giving us the space for this event.

Register for this workshop here.

 

Three Speed Adventure April 2019: One week in report. (Plus: prize packs announced!)

Hello folks! Three Speed April is just about 1/4 of the way done. As of now, we have about a dozen folks signed up for the challenge. Right now, no one has filled out the Challenge Report form, though I have seen reports online from 3 Speed Seattle and Happy Little Three Speed. Online reports elsewhere are great, of course, but to truly qualify, please remember that you must first sign up for the challenge, and then fill out the reports. All of this is done via Google Forms. (Google Forms auto-saves info, and you can go back in to edit and add more stuff.) So go here to do all that!

Some other worthy news:

Remember, if you complete one challenge, you qualify for discounted membership! That’s right, successfully complete one of the five challenges (any one!) and you can get a membership for just $15 plus shipping! So you’ll need to a) register b) complete one challenge and c) report it on the Google Form. This discount is good for the length of the challenge (April 1-30) and must be reported no later than May 31st. Please get in touch with me to get the discounted membership.

Prize packs finalized! Just like last year, for every Challenge you complete, you qualify for a one-inch button (badge) for that Challenge! Yes, the buttons are the same as last year, since I still have quite a bit.

But! And a big but! There is more. Feast your eyes on the new Three Speed Adventure April design:

Why yes, that is a patch! This 2 1/2″ patch is expertly sewn by Falls Creek Outfitters. You can qualify for this patch if you successfully complete three or more of the Challenges. This design will also be made into a 1 1/2″ weather proof sticker (decal). Complete at least one of the challenges to qualify for the sticker!

And note that I said “qualify”. This swag ain’t cheap, so in order to get this stuff sent to ya, you’ll need to contribute to the cause. The rough (and not completely finalized) price breakdown will be:

  • $7 for two stickers and buttons (anywhere from one to five buttons, depending on how many challenges you complete)
  • $15 for the above, plus the patch (if you do three or more challenges)

Please note that these prices are in US funds and do not include shipping. I’ve decided to keep it simple with buttons and just offer one flat rate. So it encourages you to do more than one challenge! And I’ll also give you the option to purchase multiples.

Price packs will be sent out in June or July, after payment has been received.

Okay! Keep on signing up, and keep those updates a-coming!